We did, the organisers! What it means is that this festival only
showcases 'pure juice' ciders and perries. 'Pure Juice' means
exactly what it says, just apple juice, no added water.
It seems odd to add any water at all. But the larger
cidermakers, those that produce the national brands, feel that they
have to. To be fair to them, it is hard to make a consistent
product without adding water. When you make craft cider, every
barrel is different, and this is all part of the attraction.
Blending can iron out major differences, but the mass-market
demands a bland product that is exactly the same time after time.
Little surprise then that some global cider brands contain less
than 50% juice, often made from imported apple concentrate, with
the difference made up with water, sugar, and all manner of other
But what of our overseas cousins? The craft producers from
France, Spain and Germany are even more fanatical about pure juice
than us. When I spoke to the President of the Basque cidermakers,
through an interpreter, he told me that 'we don't add any rubbish
like water or sugar'.
I've always believed that Welsh cider should align itself with
the pure juice ethos of our continental chums, and that is why the
Welsh Perry and Cider Society is a pure juice society, and why the
PDO status that we are applying for has pure juice as a
So, what would you prefer to drink? A natural and pure product
hand-crafted in small batches by artisans, or a mass-produced
industrial chemical cocktail? At the ICCF you can be sure that you
will make the right choice every time!